Monday, November 9, 2009

Product Review: American Heritage Education Foundation


The American Heritage Education Foundation offers a full K-12 curriculum for teachers of American History and government. A full set of lessons are provided for three distinct level--elementary, middle school, and high school--free of charge to any parent or educator.

The elementary curriculum offers a variety of lessons on topics such as colonists, the first Thanksgiving, George Washington, the Statue of Liberty, and "What Is an American?"… just to name a few. Learning activities include role playing, games, reading primary sources, puzzles, and hands-on activities. It is a very structured program that gives the teacher detailed plans for teaching each lesson.

The middle school and high school lessons expand upon the topics taught in the elementary version. The middle school curriculum includes more primary sources. The high school program takes a closer look at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is essentially a course in American government and asks students to contemplate their rights and responsibilities as free citizens as well as other hot topics such as separation of church and state.

I am going to give this program two thumbs up for its methodology and for how well it teaches the Constitution and government. The activities in each level are well-suited for the intended audiences and will engage students in the learning process. Students are sure to complete this program as well-informed citizens.

I also give the program two thumbs down for regarding mankind and the American way a little too highly, in my opinion. Though the curriculum teaches that America's heritage is Christian, I could find no statements or lessons that attribute the founding and continued prosperity of our nation to God's mighty works of providence. Instead, it seems to attribute prosperity to freedom and the efforts of mankind.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this curriculum. If you are looking for a curriculum that teaches government and acknowledges a Christian influence on America's founding, it is a great resource.

However, if you are aiming to teach history as a means of leading your children to a better understanding of God's sovereignty and providence and you want to delve more deeply into our religious heritage, the American Heritage Education Foundation curriculum will most likely disappoint.

I was given this curriculum for free in order to complete this review. I have not received any other compensation and have provided my honest, unbiased opinion based on my experience with the product. Please visit the TOS Homeschool blog to read what my crewmates have to say about this and other homeschool products.

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